Kate grew up in Suffolk where the skies are vast and the land is low and flat. Her grandad was an architect and he taught her the rudiments of technical drawing when she was 9. He made Kate a drawing board and a T square, and showed her how to sharpen a pencil with a knife. Kate ventured north to York were she studied fine art at University (YSJ) and specialised in textile design. She had fun with pots of wax, resin, shiny fabrics and butterfly’s wings.’ From there she spent a year in Huddersfield were she studied industrial applications and CAD; fewer butterflies, more Loom Sheds!
Kate’s first design job sat her in a sterile studio changing colourways of prints to match company logos and she was never allowed to get her hands dirty. She missed her fingers being permanently stained with Prussian blue, and so she started to paint again. In 1999 Kate moved to Sheffield, and after a while she started to sell her work in galleries, and in the art and craft markets there. She made many great friends. The better she knows a place the better she can capture its warmth. A place needs to resonate with Kate before she can paint it.
Kate’s textile design background is always present in the way that she paints, and interprets what is around her. She sees patterns in everything; the hills adorned with houses and washing lines, rows of flower pots and stripes of brightly painted drain pipes. Lines of gold thread trace lines through the landscape, and gold leaf changes the surface of her pictures with the changing light of day. Kate wants to paint beautiful pictures of the places that she loves. There are never people in her pictures but they’re full of life and warmth.
Kate is a great collector of treasures – be it beads, threads, ribbons, pieces of fabric, really anything small and shiny! She collects images in much the same way and her amazing paintings are often a patchwork of ideas and details that Kate has drawn in her sketchbooks or photographed. She loves to bring out elements of pattern in a landscape – things like rows of stones, tiles and railings or guttering painted interesting colours.
Hebden Bridge is now home for Kate and is part of who she is and what she does. She lives here with her husband and three small children. She loves the warmth, the colour and the community of where she lives. From her studio window at the front of her house she can see trees and the remains of a vast mill chimney in her garden which is full of nesting birds.
Kate loves that almost everyone she meets in the street can do or make something beautiful. It has been the source of many of her paintings, and will continue to be so. The longer she is here, the more she learns. Kate feels there is such history here in Hebden Bridge and she hears so many stories. Hannah at Radiance helped Kate to develop her lanterns and she now stocks those new designs and also her greetings cards. Colour has always been a key player in Kate’s work, and she uses this to convey how she sees the world.
Not so long ago Kate and I chatted over a very good cup of coffee in Cafe Solo, Hebden Bridge, and talked about her work and how it would sit well in Heart Gallery with the artists I currently support. It didn’t take us long to realise that we admired one another’s work, ethics and ambition and so a friendship was formed and dates set. We are really proud to now be showcasing some of Kate’s recent framed originals along with limited edition prints from Sunday November 4th. These are being unveiled at the launch party of out Christmas Exhibition, CHRISTMAS AT HEART. Unfortunately Kate cannot be with us on the 4th as she is taking her daughter to London for her birthday but we shall be having a ‘MEET THE MAKER’ live event with her on Sunday 11th November which is something Heart Gallery has had on the back burner for quite some time – it will be fun! You will be able to come along and chat to Kate over a cup of tea!
This will be the start of a long relationship for Kate and Heart Gallery and we will be announcing the dates of her Spring Solo Exhibition TALL TREES AND WARM STONE shortly so watch this space! In the meantime please make sure you bob in to see her stunning new work Sunday 4th November in our Picture Gallery.